Popular Films


What themes unite better-known films about the First World War?

In this episode, Jessica, Chris and Angus look at some of the better-known films about the war, covering a fifty-year period from All Quiet on the Western Front(1930) to Gallipoli (1981). Along the way, we discuss body horror, Kirk Douglas’s jaw line, European unity and whether the British have a particular penchant for cross-dressing.


All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)
La Grande Illusion (The Grand Illusion) (1937)
Paths of Glory (1957)
Oh! What a Lovely War (1969)
Gallipoli (1981)
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975)
The Hayes Code
Battle of the Somme (1916)
The Great War (1964): ‘Making of’ documentary
Casablanca (1942)
Jason Crouthamel, An Intimate History of the Front: Masculinity, Sexuality and German Soldiers in the First World War (2014)
Emma Hanna, Sounds of War: Music and the British Armed Forces During the Great War (2020)
‘Sapper’, Sergeant Michael Cassidy, RE (1916)
‘Allo, ‘Allo (1982-1989)
Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
King and Country (1964)
The Long, Long Trail (1961)
Joan Littlewood, Theatre Workshop, Stratford
Deborah Thom, Nice Girls and Rude Girls: Women Workers in World War I (1998)
Sister Kate Luard, Diary of a Nursing Sister on the Western Front (1915)
Carloyn Holbrook, Anzac: The Unauthorised Biography (2014)
Charles Bean, The Anzac Book (1916)
Tron (1982)
Mad Max (1979)
Full Metal Jacket (1987)
1917 (2019)

Other episodes

Short Stories

How do you convert the First World War into a short story?

Franz Ferdinand

How should we remember the man whose assassination sparked the July Crisis?